Circular No. 496/62/99-CX
dated 29/11/1999

F.No.390/186/99-JC
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs

Subject : Filling of Application for early hearing before the Tribunal – Proper drafting of Application – Instructions-regarding.

It has come to the notice of the Board that in a number of cases, the Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise have been filing applications before the CEGAT for out of turn hearing. However it has been brought to Board”s notice that in most of the cases, there applications do not mention any reasons for seeking an early hearing, and as a result, these applications for early hearing are being dismissed by the Tribunal.

2.  In one such case, the CEGAT”s, West Regional Bench at Mumbai, in its order No. C-II/2560/99-WZB dt. 30-9-99 in the matter of CCE vs. Shri Ashok Kumar J. Agarwal has, inter alia, remarked that “the application for early hearing is bereft of the reasons behind the application. A case has to be made for the applicant for an out of turn hearing”. The Tribunal has further” observed that such cryptic applications do not serve the purpose for which they are made. When the SDR appearing on behalf of Commissioner tried to explain the reasons, the Bench observed that it was for the Commissioner making the application to state his reasons to move the CEGAT for an early hearing.

3.  The above observation of the CEGAT is brought to your notice for guidance and necessary corrective action. Normally an out of turn hearing is allowed if the amount involved is very substantial or the issue is no longer res integra, or the issue is recurring in nature which may have substantial revenue implications as well. It may be appreciated that out of turn hearing could be sought and justified only where there are very pressing and genuine reasons. Tribunal may rightly not agree to entertain any such requests if these are made in routine in pending cases.

4.  The Board therefore, desire you to ensure that applications for early & out of turn hearing are filed only in deserving cases giving proper & detailed reasons for the same.

5.  Please acknowledge the receipt of the circular.

Sd/-
(K.K.Jha)
Director (Review)

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